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What are your rights after a data breach?

In our technological age, information is of vital importance. Our personal identification, our monetary and banking information and our medical information – to name just a few – used to be stored in paper form. Protecting this information was a matter of physical locks and security measures. These vital pieces of information are all stored and protected digitally now, so the means of protection are tech-based, susceptible to theft and compromise without any physical presence.

When the companies responsible for protecting personal data fail in their duty of protection, people can lose their jobs, lose their money and have their private personal information vulnerable to exploitation. The victims of this type of breach often feel powerless, but there are options and possible recourse.

The problem

If you are an individual with compromised personal information, there are numerous challenges. In addition to the direct loss of income that you might have experienced, there are significant costs associated with closing the information breach so that your medical information, identification and other digital data are re-secured.

The entity responsible for protecting your digital data should be held responsible for any losses and costs associated with data recovery and damage control.

The primary challenge is: How can you bring a lawsuit against a well-funded company for what might be a comparatively small amount of damage compared to the cost of litigation?

One powerful option for individuals

One key option is a class-action lawsuit. If your data has been compromised, the chances are strong that you are not alone. Most likely, many people are similarly situated. Combining claims into a single class-action claim streamlines the litigation costs and gives everyone the opportunity to obtain compensation.

This option is available to companies as well

Many data breach situations arise in the context of corporate employment, involving things like:

  • Compromised payroll data
  • Compromised banking information
  • Compromised health care information
  • Compromised insurance information
  • Compromised personal data like social security numbers and other identifying information

Corporations and other businesses spend a lot of money on third-party vendors to protect their employees. The cost could be significant for companies cleaning up the mess left behind a failure of a third-party vendor in protecting employees’ digital data.

Our firm has handled data breach class-action cases like this. In fact, in 2021, our Jeffrey Goldberg received a request to handle the Luxottica Data Breach case from Federal District Court Judge Michael Barrett of the Southern District of Ohio. It is critical to talk with an experienced lawyer if you or your company’s employees have experienced a data breach.